Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein presented opening remarks at yesterday’s National History Center conference “Reforming History Education: New Research on Teaching and Learning.” Weinstein spoke on the necessity of effective historical education, proposing it as a means for “higher advocacy of coherent citizenship.” Weinstein emphasized the link between history education and the vitality of society—a link that experts echoed throughout the day as they debated the problems with history education policy and the future of the field.
Panelists discussed how best to revitalize historical education through successful structures and methods of historical education and evaluation.
This year’s National History Day Contest challenged students in grades 6-12 to create original papers, exhibits, documentaries, and performances around the theme of “Triumph & Tragedy in History”. More than half million students participated and those who progressed through the local and state levels of the contest arrive at the University of Maryland this Sunday, June 10th to compete at the national level. Award winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will kick off the event Sunday with a speech at the Welcome Ceremony.
The National History Center will convene a day-long conference on reforms in history education policy on June 12th at the National Archives – the first, in what we hope will be a regular series of discussions on this important subject for our discipline.
The conference, entitled "Reforming History Education: New Research on Teaching and Learning", brings historians together with policy makers and educators to discuss history education. They will address the current state of history education policy and future reforms in light of recent advances in student learning, teacher preparation, assessment, and curricular innovations in the discipline of history.
The Aperture Foundation is sponsoring several major photograph exhibits of interest to historians and patrons of the arts in the New York City area during the summer of 2007. Two of these exhibits, New York Rises and The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History, will start touring in the fall of 2007 and will run until 2011. Both are looking for institutions willing to host them on their tour. For more information, or to inquire about hosting one of the exhibits, please contact Annette Rosenblatt, Apertures Exhibitions Coordinator, at (212) 946-7128, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
James McPherson, respected Civil War historian and past AHA president, will partake in a daylong colloquium in Andover, Massachusetts on August 25th. Lawrence R. Velvel, Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law will lead the event, entitled “A Day With James McPherson: Interpretations Old and New,” with audience-based discussions focused around McPherson’s most recent book This Mighty Scourge. The events of the day, and the discussions generated, will be made into a television program to be aired in select areas of the country.
The 2007 National Conference of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums will take place this October 23-25 in downtown Oklahoma City. The theme this year is “Guardians of Language, Memory and Lifeways, ” with the conference logo featuring the Oklahoma State Capitol’s “The Guardian” statue.
While the goal of the conference is to bring together American Indian librarians, historians, and tribal leaders, all who support tribal cultural preservation are welcome to join. Over the course of two days attendees will partake in a variety of sessions, presentations, workshops, and networking events.
The American Historical Association is pleased to announce the fifth in a series of workshops for department chairs, directors of graduate studies, and others interested in various aspects of graduate education. “Promoting Progress: An Interactive Workshop for Directors of Graduate Studies,” will take place on August 2 – 3, 2007, at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn in Virginia. The event will focus on the many crucial and complex challenges involved in ensuring successful and smooth progress of graduate students toward a degree.
The Working Group on the Future of the AHA will be meeting at the end of this week, so this would be a good time to offer your thoughts on where you think the AHA (and by extension, the profession) is headed.
Bill Chafe’s article in this month’s Perspectives goes into more detail about how the committee will work, and what they hope to accomplish. In brief, we know the AHA can and should do a better job representing the interests of history, but too often we spend our time reacting to problems—getting the Directory or Perspectives off to press, dealing with this threat from an IRB, or that attempt to sell off access to a piece of the past.